The Future Does Not Look Like Fun For GAME

Trouble first appeared to be brewing for major games retailer GAME in February, when pre-orders of Mass Effect 3 were suddenly cancelled. All other new EA titles followed suit, and reports began to surface outlining the company's troubled financial state.

GAME's prospects have (perhaps unsurprisingly) failed to turn around as March progresses, MCV reports. The senior management teams are reportedly being told to prepare for the possibility of being placed in administration. They write:

MCV has learnt that senior members of the GAME management teams have been told to brace for the possibility of administration.

Senior staff were told at a meeting with CEO Ian Shepherd earlier this week that the chain has approximately two weeks to turn its fortunes around.

In other poor signs for the chain's future health, Eurogamer has reported that GAME is conducting something of a fire sale. Under the headline of "Spring Clean", the retailer is offering significant discounts on existing inventory in order to clean out stock and raise immediate funds.

GAME operates over 1000 stores in the UK, Europe and Australia. While the shift to digital purchasing and online mega-stores like Amazon has been a topic of conversation for years, physical retail still very much has a place in many gamers' lives. The potential of losing some of the largest game retail chains around the world — or even consolidating them even further under a single company's banner — could have significant repercussions for customers.

D-Day looms for GAME [MCV]

GAME firesale extends to hardware, "Spring Clean" promotion launched [Eurogamer]

Image: Shutterstock.


Comments

    If you have in-store credit, vouchers or reward points cash them in now.As WOW sight and sounds collapse told us if they go into administation they wont honor such things.I know the stores in Australia are a seperate arm but stilled owned by the UK company.Gamestop who runs EB games overhere might buy them out but have stated they dont want the Aussie stores.

    I wonder if Coles or Woolworths would buy the Australian arm out. They own so many different chains already, it wouldn't surprise me if they did.

      Maybe 2 years ago Woollies or Coles might've but then Game went and closed a truckload of stores so their footprint is basically worthless to the big retailers now (only 2 stores on Brisbane's northside for example!)

      Also the imminent collapse of Dick Smith has taught us that the Games Business pricing model in Australia is fundamentally broken and it will be painful (ie: customers continuing to buy from overseas sources) before the Aus Retail sector learns to adjust, and the main adjustment has to come from the publishers

    Kinda sad to see GAME go, but since November there really hasn't been any specials that have made me want to go to GAME or EB. Every time I've walked into my local GAME for the past 12 months, I've found myself walking in and walking straight out because all the titles they have on sale are all from 3-4 years ago, and it's only those titles that are on sale.

    I don't shop at game because of the ridiculously small PC section my local retailer has. Plus EB just gets those better pre-order offers...

      The PC section at EB is getting smaller and smaller too. I go in there mostly for PS3 games these days. There's a GAME about 2 minutes away from the EB but I rarely go in there.

    Ugh... rather tragic really =(

    I quite liked the chain when it was still locally owned as Games Wizards. If you wanted some niche games like JRPGs and whanot they usually had the game stocked as opposed to EB back then =(

    But I'm not too surprised. After seeing the quality of stock drop from the shops in recent years with more rare titles giving way to the "mainstream" releases and then the floorspace dedicated to preowned gradually ballooning to take over new stock it doesn't take a genius to see whats coming.

    Was just at my local. Buy one get second half price. Got lost planet ltd ed steelcase 2nd hand and lords of arcane slayer edition PSP for $20 TOTAL

    My one and only experience with Game was a couple of years ago.
    I walked in a store and asked them to price match EB on a particular game.
    They said no, but they would lower the price to 'x' amount which was still $5 more.
    I said "dont worry". Then walked (literally) 50m down to EB and bought it there.

      basically the same, I can walk 30m in the same centre to EB, or walk maybe 100m to a JB Hifi.

      Jb will 95% of the time be cheaper too

        Protip: Employees cannot lower a games value to lower than cost price. Most of the time, a game that is say, $109.95, has a cost price of about $80. Literally. JB Hifi can do it cheaper because they dont make money on new releases, they make money on all those cheap $9 DVD's you see and purchase when you go in to get your cheap new release.

    Worked for games wizards and went on to manage two store when the game change over occured. Spent 7 years with them. I Could rant on and on about the internal politics and bullshit they wanted us to put customers through to try and squeeze every penny out of them. Few of us decided to tell em to go stick it. Best decsision weve ever made.

      Ill have a large big mac with fries thanks mick!

        youre a funny one Todd.

        If you got your facts straight youd know im working for a company that makes more in month then youd make in an entire year...

        Good luck finding work when they close the store on ya champ.

        P.s Made a 12k sale today how bout you? Butthurt much?lolz

          i knew happy meals had gone up in price but that's just ridiculous

        Who says "fries"?

          pretty much everyone in mcdonalds

      Almost the same situation mike. only, i stayed at GAME for another year before I could no longer stomach thier attitude towards 'the consumer'.

        I feel sorry for a lot of good people in their employ... They have some really talented and unique individuals that deserve better! Its a shame it all fell apart, its a shame UK dropped the ball and its mistakes have tarnished the entire group.

    i sincereley hope that they dont close down stores or anything.
    there nothing i love more than going into a game store and talking about games and stuff

    I've only stepped into a GAME store once... I stepped in the store and was promptly surrounded by three staff asking me if I needed assistance and what game was I looking for... never went back.

      God forbid someone offered you assistance in a store, how dare they!

      lol what a terrible experience that must have been for you.. i like you prefer to shop at Eb where i walk in and am totally ignored until i get to the counter [/sarcasm]

    sad but expected. gametraders will be next. Where are the strong retailers gone. I remember 2 unique gametraders stores in Perth and cannington. They survived by doing things different. Always innovative. It's these stores that I'm sad to see go not the corporate boring Game stores.

      The two stores you mentioned are both gone. Gametraders went through some HUGE problems at the beginning of the year, or so I'm led to believe, and now they only have two stores in WA, Morley and Joondalup.

    Don't have a game here, it's just EB and GT. Fuck exclusive retailer DLCs, too.

    I never liked GAME, I'm laughing right now.

    I worked at GAME for about a year and have friends that still work there and are happy in their jobs, so I really hope it doesn't fold, if only for their sake.

    I'm not sure if everyone knows but while I was there the UK people said to the games wizards guys who were running the Australian arm of GAME after it was taken over (who seemed pretty cool by all accounts) to meet some impossible benchmark for sales or they would be axed. They couldn't meet the benchmarks and the UK came in and cleared out head office. We were left with a whole new company structure and the mood dramatically changed.

    It went from being about games and customer service, to money and that's it. They didn't close a lot of stores (only 1 that I'm aware of, which was lidcombe and that was because it got broken into A LOT) and even opened a few. I heard a lot of rumours from customers that we were closing down but none of it was true, mostly people from EB trying to tarnish the GAME name. and other misinformation.

    There was a constant theme of retail stores being sh*t on my a**hole middle management who impose impossible targets, and make insane demands, who basically have no idea about games or gamers and only care about the bottom line. How am I supposed to make 50 pre orders when 2 people come into They have a wealth of people at the retail level who are passionate about games and the culture, but they never once treat them like they are valued or use their knowledge and enthusiasm to the companies advantage.

    I understand that it's a business and that businesses need to make money to survive, but if you're running a company that sells games then you have to be aware of that, and be part of the culture. I know that games are a lot cheaper to buy from overseas, but there are other ways of bringing customers in that don't just involve having cheap games.

      They ended up closing several stores.

    I think the australian branch is doing much better than the UK branch. Also I want to point out that although GAME owns the stores, all the payslips and ABN number run under: GAME Aus. Trading as TGW (the games wizards) pty. ltd. therefore, even if the UK goes bankrupt, we will hopefully be bought off by someone and start trading as TGW again.

    @ 55, they closed a lot of stores in the last 6 months. I still work for game at the moment and I agree with you. I can't count the times that we've not done so well and have received emails where we've been called all sorts of names for not doing well. It's definitely changed from when the GW guys were in there. Most of the area managers at game ( not store managers) enjoy pitting stores against each other to see what they can do to us.

    It's put people in the stores under so much stress as we've had to cope with the potential loss of our jobs just because not everyone wants to buy a game guarantee. We can't control customers, all we can do is let them know what is going down.

    It's all about the money now, and customers can see that. Although, we staff members still do try to helo everyone.

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